Craft Shows

The East Toronto  Club Arts and Craft Show on Saturday was a great experience.  I met some wonderful people, made some sales, got a feel for the business of crafting and got a lead for another show this weekend that I’ll be participating in.  The “Holiday in the Hood” sale will be at Earl Beatty School, 55 Woodington Ave. near Coxwell and Danforth in Toronto on Friday from 3:30pm to 8pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm.  There will be a great variety of items at that sale, too!  I’m not sure whether I’ll be ahead after it – I can see a bunch of things I’d like to get for Christmas gifts (and for me)!

My daughter helped me at the East Toronto Rotary sale.  She was a great model for my aprons, and the ones that were the same style as the one she wore sold out.  This was one I made in Chrismas fabrics.  It’s completely reversibe, with the green fabric on  the other side.  At the sale, she wore the one I made for her last Easter.  We didn’t sell that one!  I’ll try to get a couple more made for this weekend.

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O Christmas Tree

Well…I’m still getting used to WordPress.  I ended up overwriting a post I’d created earlier today when I thought I was creating a new one…then when trying to re-create it, I lost it twice – once when I ended up just publishing the photo, then again when I lost the internet connection to wordpress.  Oh, well, here goes again…

The scrappy Christmas Tree Quilt is finished!  I’m just making the label to stitch on the back.  I’ve actually made two tops.  This one has mitered borders, and the other has the piano key/rail fence pieced outer border.  I’ve only quilted the one, so far.  The star and gifts are machine embroidery, and the garland is hand embroidered with gold ribbon floss.

This will be one of the items that I have for sale at the Toronto East Rotary Club Arts and Crafts Sale this Saturday (Nov. 17th) at Eastminster United Church on Danforth Ave. in Toronto.

This week will be busy finishing off projects for the show.  I’m not sure if I’ll have time to finish the second scrappy tree quilt for the show, but if not, I’ll have a new quilt to hang in my hall this Christmas season!

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O Christmas Tree Quilt

O Christmas Tree Quilt

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Last week, I was creating some machine embroidered lace for Christmas ornament covers.  It takes over 2 hours to stitch out each half of the lace.  The machine manufacturers tell you that you can just press a button and leave the machine to do it’s thing.  Wrong!  The thread breaks.  The bobbin runs out.  The thread tangles in the guides.  The hoop can bump something and loose it’s alignment.  You really do have to babysit as the machine does it’s thing.  It’s pretty boring to sit there and watch for hours at a time, so I make sure I have something else to do while I’m waiting to fill a bobbin or re-thread the machine.   This time, I was embellishing  some “Crazy Quilt” Christmas tree blocks to use for more cards.  I got to play with my fancy fibers and made 10 cards!
The lace above will be made into an ornament cover that looks something like this when I finally get around to putting the two halves together (another task for this week):

Today, I’m making labels and tags for various craft show items.

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I love it when ideas from various sources come together to create something.  Today’s project has inspiration from 3 things:

1. The October Club EQ Challenge is to create new Christmas (or other holiday) blocks.

2.  BeaQuilter posted a tutorial this week on her blog outlining a way to create a rail fence border in EQ.  She has issued a challenge to play with this in EQ and link to her blog.  Carol’s challenge entry uses a scrappy heart block which uses squares and half square triagles.

3.  I have lots of 2″ square fabric scraps.  When I’m cutting quilting fabric, I try to organize the scraps left over.  I started by cutting all the leftover bits into 2″ and 3-7/8″ squares, for 4-patches and Half Square Triangles to make scrappy quilts inspired by Bonnie Hunter’s Leaders and Enders Quilts, although I now have various sizes of scrap squares and strips based on Bonnie’s tips on how to organize scraps.  This summer I was making a green and neutral quilt with lots of different green and neutral batiks, so I have many green and neutral 2″ squares to use up.
So…I was playing in EQ to design a new Christmas block and came up with this, made from 2″ squares and HSTs:

Then I used Bea’s method of creating a “Rail Fence” type border to get this:

Now I have an entry for the EQ Challenge this month, I can try out Bea’s “Linky” thing on her blog, and use up some of my scraps!

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Fabric Frugality

Last winter, I started working on a project for the bazaar held at the church where the Pieceful Night Quilters’ Guild meets.  Northcott Silk Inc. is very generous and donated a box of fabric for the guild to use.  I took home a bundle of strips something like this (although my fabrics were from the “Indigo” colour line):

Fabric Strips

I used the strips to make a table runner, using the “Mystery Quilt” pattern generously shared by Carolyn Kerr on the Maple Leaf Quilt Guild yahoo group last fall.  Basically, you sew strips into a tube, then cut triangles and open them up to get squares.  Here’s the layout I chose:

Since the strips I used were only about 20″ or so (not the width of fabric as suggested in Carolyn’s instructions), I ended up using 4 strip sets.  When you cut the triangles to make the blocks, there are end pieces which I thought too good to discard, so I stitched them together to make 4 placemats:

I also sewed sets of 4 strips together, thinking to use these for the placemat backs, but when I took these to the guild meeting this summer where we work on bazaar items, I found some plain blue fabric in the guild stash that would be great for backing, so I used the strips for a second set of placemats:

I used some more of the strips to make scrappy binding (the strips were cut from the length of the fabric, so wouldn’t be the best for binding, as is), by sewing the strips together then cutting bias strips, then piecing them together to make a long length of binding.

I quilted and bound the runner and placemats this summer, and when I had finished, I still had some scraps of the fabric left….so I made some potholders.  The one side of each is made from strips and the other from odd shaped scraps stitched together sort of like crazy quilt blocks:

There were still a few scraps left over, so I stitched them into small crazy quilt blocks to use in fabric greeting cards.  The seams are embroidered with various threads and yarns from my stash.

The rest of the scraps went into a “cat bag”…basically a fabric bag that’s stuffed with fabric and batting trimmings, then stitched closed.  One of the local quilt shops collects these and donates them to the local animal shelter to put in the bottom of the cat cages.  The table runner, placemats, pot holders and cards will be donated to the bazaar.

I think I can say that every scrap of this fabric was used!

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Fibre Greeting Cards

During the past couple of weeks, I’ve been creating some fabric greeting cards.  Here’s a sample of a few:

Card Samples

These have been fun to create.  I’ve been able to sit out on the deck to do the hand embroidery and beading.  I’ve especially liked playing with some of my wonderful threads and fibres.  I have silk from Treenway Silks, DMC floss and pearl cotton, metallic threads from Wonder Fil, some lucious hand-dyed variegated threads from Dinky Dyes, silk ribbon from Treenway and Superior Threads plus various yarns, ribbons, trims and beads.

Some of these cards are for personal use, but I’m also a vendor at the Toronto East Rotary Club Craft Sale on November 17th, and the cards are one of the items I’ll be selling.  Hope to see some of you there – it’s at Eastminster United Church, 310 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, from 10am to 5pm.

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Creating in Muskoka

It’s been a great summer to do some hand stitching at the cottage.  This is the view I can see when I’m sitting on the cottage deck in the late afternoon:

With lots of fabric and fibers to play with (this is just a very small sample of my fiber stash), what could be better?


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